Every Friday night we showcase quality LIVE music from established and up-and-coming acts. Doors open at 8pm.
"..the Grain Barge is hot on The Theklas heels for nailing some of those local musicians on the cusp of stardom." (Bristol 24-7)
Artists who have played Grain Barge
Sam Amidon, Alasdair Roberts & Olivia Chaney, Andy Sheppard, Bob Lind, Emily Portman, Diane Cluck, Curtis Eller, Gravenhurst, Dan Michaelson, Dan Haywood, Beth Porter & The Availables, Myshkin, Joseph Arthur, Rene Lopez, Ottersgear, Willard Grant Conspiracy, Orchestre Tout Puissant Marcel Duchamp, Goan Dogs, Howlin' Lord, Schnauser,
Glis Glis, Joyce The Librarian, Boxcar Aldous Huxley, Annette Berlin, Clayton Blizzard, Daisy Chapman, Robin Nolan Trio, Sheelanagig, Hinkley Veltones, The Dukes of Mumbai, Ant Noel & The Peabody Drakes, Matt Alber, Twin Falls, I Am Horse, SJ Esau, Thomas Ford, Medicine Creek, Gerard & The Watchmen, Snowapple, The Duckworths, Stevie-Jo Dooley, The Veees, Eyebrow, My Two Toms, Phil King, War Against Sleep, Jim Evans, Lonely Tourist, Jilk, Snorkel, Three Cane Whale, Pete Roe, Duotone, This is The Kit, Message to Bears, Protest Crayon, Pepino, The Rumble O's, Hot Feet, Ygnve & The Innocent, Bert Miller & The Animal Folk, The Liftmen, Georgia Ruth, French for Rabbits, Eastpole Orchestra, Coppe, Woodpecker Woooliams, Empty Pools, Crowhailer, Burgess & Slide, The Bad Joke That Ended Well, The Relay Rips, Menage a Trois, The Brackish, The Rin Tins, Shambolique, Rachael Dadd, Ichi, Rozi Plain, The Kestor String Band, The Weary Band, The May Birds,
ANNE JANELLE & JAMES HILL
Thursday 13th March ~ 7.30pm
£4 on the door
"Anne does enchanting things." (Ottawa Start)
After winning a Canadian Folk Music Award for duo album True Love Don’t Weep, Anne released her debut solo album Beauty Remains (2012); on the heels of that offering, came So Long at the Fair (2013), "a highly accomplished sophomore set." (New Canadian Music) This album exudes a deeply authentic sound, one that serves to solidify Anne's musical voice.
With feet planted firmly in folk music, she gives every song a contemporary feel, pairing the characteristic bittersweet sounds of the cello with unlikely companions including the wooden recorder, baritone sax, and ukulele. Her "gorgeous syrupy voice" (Acoustic) and sultry cello provide the perfect setting for her personal, evocative and poignant lyrics: "a crystal clear sound filled with warmth," (CBC).
+ LIGHT FALLS FORWARD
Light Falls Forward are an
acoustic folk act, formed by Charlie Evans and Naomi Paget. Since
releasing their debut EP, Songs and Shadows, in 2012 they have since
taken their music far and wide with two European tours last years and
several UK gigs from small folk venues to a 10,000 strong crowd at a
family festival in Essex. Their new and third EP, Sleeptalking,
encapsulates how much they and their music have grown over the past year
with a fuller, more cinematic soundscape and reflective feel. Strings
play a prominent part and their storytelling lyrics have a more powerful
drive than previous EPs, from the anger of Green Eyed and defiance of
What If, to the affirmation on Only When We Sleep... all coming to a
beautiful close with the closing lullaby track, Silent Conversations.
Their music is intimate yet powerful, haunting yet uplifting, described
by Tom Robinson on BBC6 radio as an “emotional cannonball”. They combine
elements of Sharon van Etten, Laura Veirs, Feist and Daughter to create
a sound that is organic and unique. For Folks Sake said "stunning
guitar picking, some surprising harmonies and... quirky piano
syncopation, which just shows how good these guys can be."
SAM BROOKES (DUO)
Friday 14th March ~ 8pm
£5 Adv Tickets available from Bristol Ticket Shop (BFee). Click here to Buy
At 26, Sam Brookes is a seasoned veteran of the live music circuit. Not your stereotypical ‘folk bard ‘ his love of singing and performing has been evolving since his days as a chorister, singing for the Queen at her private Chapel in Great Windsor Park; add to this his training as a gilder and a keen interest in sport and Sam already stands apart from his contemporaries.
Brought up in a creative family, his love of music was encouraged from a very early age. He attributes influences such as Joni Mitchell, Bert Jansch and Davy Graham to his father as well as more recent influences: ‘Travis’ and ‘The La’s’ to his own musical journey of discovery. His upbringing in a sleepy Wiltshire Town couldn't have been more different to the frenetic pace of life in London, where he has spent the last 4 years of his life. Both have impacted greatly on his career and contributed to his musical style. Sam has become part of the burgeoning folk scene gigging in and around London to an ever increasing audience of enthusiasts.
Sam cites his training as a gilder as a positive influence on his guitar playing as well as his approach to song writing. ‘I approach my music with the same ethic I held whilst gilding - working hard to create something beautiful’
+ HOT FEET
Hot Feet are a folk rock band from Stroud, Gloucestershire, made up of Marianne Parrish (vocals), Jack Page (guitar), Lachlan McLellan (bass) and Rob Pemberton (drums).
Hot Feet’s music lives and breathes in the countryside. ‘Wood House’ was written in a small cabin on the east coast of Sweden and recorded in a remote studio in the Scottish Highlands, only accessible by boat. The five songs are set, however, in the Cotswolds where Marianne tends to goats and sheep when she’s not playing music, and Lachlan builds dry stonewalls.
The band draw together a range of musical influences including delta blues, sixties folk and world rhythms. Clamorous in places, delicate in others; sometimes offering raucous, earthy uproar and a wistful, yearning narrative within the same song. The EP ranges from stomping gallops to tender ballads, and has been lovingly and impressively produced by Pete Roe, long-time side-man of Laura Marling and a gifted songwriter in his own right.
"Truly nothing short of fabulous...really wonderful". Marc Riley 6Music
"I predict great things for Hot Feet" Guy Garvey 6Music
"Lively and enlivening" For Folk's Sake
Friday 21st March ~ 8pm
£5 Adv Tickets from Bristol Ticket Shop / £6 on the door
Mizizi (‘roots’ in Swahili); is a UK-based ten-piece roots reggae partying powerhouse featuring several male and female vocalists along with horn section, keyboards, guitars, bass, drums and frequent guests. They are a ‘dance-floor-filling’ ‘no-short-cuts’ reggae force evoking comments like: ‘Amazing sound’, ‘Absolutely brilliant’ and ‘Maximum respect’. Formed in 2010, Mizizi have appeared at venues and festivals across the UK including Brisfest, Canterbury World Music Festival, Kaya Festival, Hullibaloo, Bristol Harbour Festival and the huge main stage at Shambala Festival.
I AM HORSE
Friday 28th March ~ 8pm
£4 adv from Bristol Ticket Shop / £5 door
I am horse are Magda Conway, Suzi Lamb and Anna Gravelle. They are a Bristol based 3-piece who are presently joined onstage by local string players Rebecca (violin) and Sally (cello). Their sound is diverse, with pop song structures juxtaposed with unexpected arrangements and instrumentation, which alongside Conways’ vocals leaves a haunting and beguiling impression.
‘Then Let Me Go’ was released in March 2013 alongside an acoustic BBC Introducing West Session. The album, recorded in 2012 at Bristol’s Toybox Studios, reflects I Am Horse’s eclectic sound, with tracks ranging from the string swirling ‘To Weston’, through to the dance/electronic driven ‘Fade Away’.
Here is a selection of what people have said about the band:
“Wonderful electronica with a pure, pure sound” Bethan Elfyn, Amazing Radio.
“I Am Horse are wonderfully weird, or is it weirdly wonderful” BBC introducing in the West.
“These girls are ridiculously talented” Drunken Werewolf.
“These Bristol girls are making some incredible music that deserves special notice” Band of the Month, Fear of Fiction.
“Voices that are tantalisingly unconventional and beautifully odd… gracing songs that wouldn’t sound out of place in a poignant, grainy, Stephen Poliakoff drama.” Electric Harmony
+ HI-FICTION SCIENCE
Hi-Fiction Science rose from the ashes of masters of drone Suncoil Sect in 2008. Early gigs in their native Bristol saw Hi-Fiction Science perform motorik, instrumental workouts with a nod to Neu! and Can. Since the addition of singer Maria Charles - formerly of Bristol experimentalists Fuzz Against Junk - the band have taken a direction that fuses Acid Folk, Kraut/Artrock, Post-Punk and Electronica.
Tuesday 1st April ~ 7.30pm
£9 adv. Click here to buy tickets
an era where the growth of music technology has arguably reached
maximum velocity, guitarist RM Hubbert’s spartan third solo long-player
is a lesson in the virtue of intimacy, comprising 10 spellbinding
reveries stripped of unwarranted embellishment.
communion of Hubbert’s guitar work – largely shaped from the clay of
flamenco structures and techniques – and voice, which features for the
first time since he embarked on a solo career, the most conspicuous
noises are the creaks and squeaks of his instrument – custom-built by
luthier Anders Eliasson in south-west Spain – plus skeins of echo and
distortion conjured by producer Paul Savage, whose sizeable list of
credits includes Mogwai and King Creosote.
The result is an
album that occupies territory where few contemporary musicians tread,
its stoical messages of letting go and acceptance implicit (as on his
previous solo records, the deaths of Hubbert’s parents and his
subsequent diagnosis of chronic depression loom large, though never in
the foreground). Recorded and mixed in short bursts totalling seven days
across 12 months, Breaks & Bone is as open-hearted as its maker, an
intrinsically human collection that forges hope from sadness, a future
from the past, wonderment from woe.
Whereas Hubbert’s debut
solo album First & Last (self-released in 2009 and reissued in 2011
following his signing to Chemikal Underground) was an exercise in using
music to communicate feelings sparked by the passing of his parents,
here the guitarist speaks to them directly – Feedback Loops for his
mother, album closer Slights for his father. Bolt, on the other hand,
subverts the medium, working both as a love song and as a dialogue with
the disorder that stalks him.
It was while touring his second
album, Thirteen Lost & Found – released in 2012 and crowned Scottish
Album of the Year in June – that Hubbert was inspired to sing on record
for the first time since his previous group El Hombre Trajeado
disbanded in 2005. Without collaborators Aidan Moffat and Alasdair
Roberts to add their parts to live performances of album tracks Car Song
and The False Bride respectively, Hubbert took to the mic himself and
revelled in the experience. Produced by Hubbert’s long-time friend Alex
Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand, Thirteen Lost & Found paired him with
the aforementioned vocalists besides Emma Pollock, Hanna Tullikki and
others, yet despite its reduced cast Breaks & Bone is very much in
keeping with its immediate predecessor in terms of mood, sound and
Those who have witnessed Hubbert’s shows will
be familiar with his mischievous sense of humour. Fittingly, the album’s
cover star is none other than D Bone, Hubbert’s dog (named in tribute
to one of the guitarist’s musical heroes, the late D Boon of Californian
punk trio Minutemen) and the subject of the album’s instrumental opener
Son Of Princess, Brother Of Rambo.
As compassionate as it is
concise, Breaks & Bone further cements RM Hubbert’s burgeoning
reputation as an artist of unparalleled eloquence and empathy.
THE AWESOME DOORS
Friday 4th April ~ 8pm
£6 advance tickets from Bristol Ticket Shop click here to buy
The Awesome Doors are Bristol’s exciting and genuine tribute to the 60’s psychedelic, blues rock legends.
Friday 11th April ~ 8pm
£4 adv / £5 Door
Mama Nice are an eight piece curiosity-shop swing band from Bristol, playing a mix of upbeat vintage, gypsy and folk tunes fronted by soulful female vocals. Sweet harmonies tell winding tales of curious people and places. Bittersweet yet delectable.
Mama Nice takes you on a journey from swing and up-jive raunch to nostalgic Parisian waltzes. The harmonies between flute, violin and clarinet, balanced against the rhythms of double bass, accordion and guitar/mandolin, are all a perfect backdrop to the soaring and soulful female harmonies. The songs are driven by the powerful and playful percussion
+ DEAN REED'S DEAD
Surf guitared, rich
rythmn, bass heavy, lyric loaded croon-pop-blues-spookalozoo! A hammer, a sickle and some horse-ridin' skiffle.
EMILY PORTMAN TRIO
Wednesday 23rd April ~ 7.30pm
£8 + BF Adv Tickets available from Bristol Ticket Shop. Click here to Buy
Emily Portman is a singer, writer and concertina player originating from Glastonbury and hailed ‘one of the new British folk scene’s most beguiling presences’ (Uncut). Her BBC Folk award-winning album ‘Hatchling’ is described as “Marvelous” (The Observer) ‘Eerily magnificent’ (fROOTS) and “One of the year’s most distinctive folk releases” (Songlines).
With her debut album ‘The Glamoury’ also gaining her two BBC Folk Award nominations, Emily is fast gaining a reputation for her ‘remarkable and original’ songwriting (The Observer). Not only has her music propelled Emily onto the front cover of FRoots, she has received widespread international radio-play and tours the UK extensively, recently supporting The Be Good Tanyas in a sell-out tour culminating at London’s Barbican. Inspired by the darker underbelly of folklore and balladry, Emily weaves harmony-rich narratives alongside Lucy Farrell (viola) and Rachel Newton (harp).
Thursday 24th April ~ 7.30pm
£9 Adv. Click here to buy.
It is said that no (wo) man is an island, entire of itself, but if Liz Green's highly acclaimed debut album O, Devotion! says anything it's that she exists in a certain kind of isolation, as a uniquely exceptional, “eccentric and rather magical” artist, (to borrow words from The Guardian). One does not just stumble across her music to be left unmarked. She gives too much for that.
Away! is about Communication. Language. The Insufficiency of Words.
Home. How to Fit in. Escape. Sea. Elemental Forces. The Edge of
Something. Travel. The End of Something. Mythology. Love Lost. And
Death. Her second album then continues to speak to her unique character
(as droll as it is dark) while it also finds her becoming a piece of the
continent, a part of the main by realising that these “Lonely little
songs need some company”. Luckily they have it in the form of a band of
friends, who accompany her voice – a wonderfully warm melange of styles -
and newly grounded piano compositions, surrounding them in bass,
saxophone, drums, tuba, trombone, cello and flute “like a life raft or
armbands.” Some of them even sound like her “most cheerful” songs to
Wednesday 14th May ~ 7.30pm
£8 + BF advance tickets from Bristol Ticket Shop. Click here to buy
Lisa emerged in 2007 with a remarkable debut and as a highly distinctive artist from one of the most creative and active underground music scenes of recent times. She merges a radiant style of traditional folk and self-penned song, with fiddle, hammer dulcimer, strings, banjo and sonic delights from the technological age.
“The hidden seam is unpicked and a vibrant creative force flows down the years to anoint Lisa, filling her lungs with the gift of song. The result is a masterpiece.” Folk Radio UK
"A masterful creation" Observer